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gender equality at home and the senate



Have you guys ever voted in an election? In Japan, you can vote from age 18. The House of Councillors election is happening this July. Are you thinking of going? Recently, it has been reported in the media that Japan was ranked 165th out of 193 countries for its proportion of female lawmakers in the Diet, making it a country with one of the biggest gender gaps in politics in the world.

honeyhandsは、2018年から明日少女隊という社会派アーティスト・フェミニストグループとコラボして、アート界の#MeTooでもある『#NotSurprised(#私たちは驚きません)』という活動でセクハラの定義を多くの人に知ってもらうプロジェクトを一緒にやってきた。今回、新しく『家でも政治でもジェンダー平等!』という以下のプロジェクトでも明日少女隊、そしてロサンゼルス在住の彫刻家Elana Mannとコラボさせてもらったよ。このポスターをhoneyhandsのデザイナーであるLola Roseが担当し、ポスターの中の彫刻作品がElana Mannの作品で、口を塞がれているように見えるけれど、実はメガホンという彫刻作品で、「たとえ口が塞がれていても、声を大きくして届ける」という意味がある。東京芸術大学で行われる『東京インディペンデント』という展示会で、4月12日から5月6日まで展示される予定です。

honeyhands has been collaborating with the feminist social art collective Tomorrow Girls Troop since 2018, and we’ve worked together on a project that spreads awareness of #NotSurprised which is the #MeToo of the art industry and clarifies to the public what constitutes sexual harassment. This time, we had the opportunity to collaborate with them on the project “A woman’s place is in the house… And the Senate”. Its poster was designed by honeyhands designer Lola Rose, and is planned to be displayed at the exhibition Tokyo Independent held at the Tokyo University of the Arts from April 12th to May 6th.


What does the entry of women into the workforce mean for society? Maybe it seems like something positive -- something that facilitates improvements in policies that help women work even when they get married or have kids. But from a different perspective, it evokes the reality that society has been intending for women to stay at home. Under the Abe administration, the Liberal Democratic Party is proposing a revision of the Constitution of Japan. The revision describes married couples as including “both sexes”, and defines a family as this “both sex” containing couple with a child. The Party is also planning to add a line that says “Family members need to help each other.” Many people are interpreting these changes as something that stresses the role of women as caregivers for children and the elderly, and values women only as housewives; something that is also reflected in how it’s not acceptable for married women to keep their maiden name as married couples with different surnames are not legally seen as a couple. Also, many think that the nonacceptance of diverse forms of couples and families in the revision aims to exclude the LGBTQ+ community.


When women get interviewed for a job or enter the workforce, they are often asked about their views on marriage as an essential question in the process. When making policies that would increase the proportion of female lawmakers, there are often responses like “This is a difficult issue, and if there was a solution we would have fixed it by now” that shut the discussion down. As you can see in the image below, the proportion of women holding managerial positions in Japan is especially low. This not only shows that it’s difficult for women to be married or to be mothers and work at the same time, but also shows structural problems like women not being able to get those higher authority positions because it is assumed that they will eventually quit the job due to marriage or having children. If society only values women for getting married or having kids, that becomes a big limitation for women, making it a harder world for women to live in.

(Above: A table showing the proportion of women holding managerial positions amongst G7 countries)


Some reasons why the current administration wants to increase the employment of women is to bolster the shrinking workforce, and to decrease the average income to cheaply export Japanese-made goods. But for this to happen, it’s important to change our mindset to strive for equal treatment, and to create an environment where a person can work and have children at the same time. To what extent does this understanding and environment exist currently? It seems like the government’s exclusively economy-focused agenda ultimately makes the lives of women difficult -- for both women who choose to enter the workforce and women who choose to have children like the government wants.


The project “A woman’s place is in the house… And the Senate” provides an opportunity for people to rethink the role of a woman in the house, the role of a man, and social values in politics. We want to change the world that pushes us to embody the socially constructed idea of how a woman or a man should live.


Parts of the issue that are visible, such as the low proportion of female lawmakers, are easy to notice; but I think that it would really be productive for not only government policies but also for our mindsets to change. Of course, some people aren’t interested in politics, and there’s probably only a small proportion of people who feel that politics has an effect on our everyday lives. But if we reconsider the dissatisfactions we experience in our everyday lives, maybe seeking a change in political agendas and policies is the shortcut to eliminating them.


Some steps we can take towards gender equality would be to vote to have our voices heard, visit this project, and to share this article. Let’s translate our desire to change the world into real life actions, and create change in this society!

4月10日(水)の女性参政記念日には『パリテキャンペーン』のイベントとして、19:00-20:00に二都市(東京大阪)同時「街宣」で女性たちによるリレートークが行われる予定です!『パリテキャンペーン』は、議会をパリテ(男女半々)にして、女性やLGBTQ+がもっと自由に生きられる多様性のある政治を目指すというもの。このイベントでもLola Roseが担当したポスターを使ってもらうことになったよ!新宿街宣はアルタ前、大阪ではなんば高島屋前で行われ、20代の若いフェミニストたちのスピーチもあるみたい。誰でも気軽に行って、自由にスピーチを聞けるから、興味のある人はぜひ足を運んでみてね!!

A “Parité” campaign event takes place on the Women’s Suffrage Anniversary, Wednesday, April 10th from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. simultaneously in Tokyo and Osaka. The “Parité” campaign’s aim is to have an equal representation of men and women in the Diet to create a political system that also benefits women and LGBTQ+ individuals. They have also chosen to use Lola Rose’s poster! During the event, there will be a panel discussion by women, as well as speeches by young feminists in their 20s. In Shinjuku, the event will be held in front of Alta, and in Osaka, it will be held in front of the Namba Takashimaya. It’s a casual event where you’ll have the chance to hear these women speak. If you’re interested, come join us!


女性国会議員比率、193カ国中165位 : G20諸国で最下位



多様な家族を認めない「憲法24条」改憲案。育児や介護の負担増、結婚・離婚も不自由になる?! ― 山口 智美 さん

外務省: アベノミクスと経済外交


A woman’s place is in the house… And the Senate

"Japan ranks at bottom of G20, and in lowest quarter globally, for percentage of female MPs"

Written by Yurina

Edited by Mio, Eli, and Hikari

English Translated by Kiara

Poster Designed by Lola Rose

Images by Tomorrow Girls' Troop and Hikari

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